Tuesday, July 5, 2011

San Francisco Mime Troupe: "2012-The Musical": ☼ ☼ ☼ BANG

You always get what you pay for with San Francisco Mime Troupe, but this year you get even more. They trashed Dick Cheney until it was scarier than funny. Now they've got Barack Obama to laugh at and, once again, they're back on course. For our money, the troupe's 52nd season's offering "2012-The Musical" is the best work they've done in years.

Newcomers Cory Censoprano and Siobhan Marie Doherty are both terrific additions to the show, and writer and performer Michael Gene Sullivan takes on an even larger set of roles than he usually does. Lizzie Calogero and Keiko Shimosato, as political theater director and "green" corporate donor are chillingly real, and Victor Toman's singing and dancing are perhaps the best of all. As always, the plot is secondary to the message: Power to the People and Death to the Pigs, of course, but also, as refers to corporate largess: "A Girl Can Get Used to it."

Pat Moran and Bruce Barthol's songs, especially early in the show, are better than ever, particularly Moran's "It's All Dirty Money" and "A Girl Could Get Used To It," and Barthol's "Chains of Regulation." The three band members, who seem to play ten instruments at once, are their usual fashionably virtuosic selves.

A few suggestions for the rest of the season: This year's Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence warmup felt like it went on for days: maybe all their silly puns about dykes and queers have gone the way of Dick Cheney and it's time to come up with something new.

(Although we did love the couplet:
Eight, Six, Four, Two
We're tough dykes and we don't have to rhyme.")

You might think about posting a guard at both sides of the stage to keep the foulmouthed crackheads away. There seems to be one every year. The 2012 model took a full five minutes to scream "get out of my fffff__ing way!" as he passed stage right to left. Yes, we know. Crackheads are people too, but...

And please don't touch Raoul Brody's twisted Star Spangled Banner. This is the best singalong in hootenanny history.

As always, you leave a Mime Troupe show with mixed feelings. One, everything they said was correct, except for the things that are just loony. Two, this is an astonishingly talented cast of actors, writers, producers, singers and performers. It's hard to imagine San Francisco without them.

The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division awards "2012-The Musical" Three Stars with a BANGLE of PRAISE. The show is entertaining and, for a free show, not too expensive. (You can't NOT throw donations into the various buckets that come 'round before and after the show. And you HAVE to love that t-shirt.) This year's music is better than ever. Of course they take on too many themes. Of course they do.

The BANGLE of PRAISE is for this line: "The Revolution Will Not Be Downloaded." And blessings to brother Scott-Heron, who will have enjoyed that tribute.

San Francisco Mime Troupe: "2012-The Musical"
Various parks and venues throughout the Bay Area
Through August 28
(see sfmt.org for complete schedule)

No comments: